Video: Funeral for victims of Westmeath car fire, three arrests made for match fixing

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Kenneth Fox

Bertie Ahern return

The Taoiseach has indicated he would be open to allowing former party colleague Bertie Ahern back into the party.

Micheál Martin said that he has been engaging with the former taoiseach in recent times, particularly about issues around the Northern Ireland Protocol.

On Wednesday evening, it was proposed during the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party that Mr Ahern should be allowed to make a return to the party as part of its plans to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

Ryanair apology

Ryanair has apologised for blocking media access to its Annual General Meeting, saying it happened by mistake, but said it would continue to prevent access to one journalist from the Irish Independent.

Reporters who understood they were being brought to the Annual General Meeting room, which is normally open to the press, were told they were being brought to a media room instead for a post-AGM briefing by chief executive Michael O'Leary.

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After the conclusion of the meeting, O'Leary apologised to journalists saying his team had "mishandled" the situation and promised a more detailed explanation later.

Childare reform

The Minister for Children has unveiled a new funding model aimed at bringing “transformative change” to the childcare sector.

Roderic O’Gorman said that Together for Better will provide a “sound framework” to improve the quality and affordability of childcare, and pay and conditions for workers.

It will incorporate the Government’s €221 million core funding scheme, as well as the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme and the National Childcare Scheme (NCS).

Mr O’Gorman said the model will bring about “transformative change to this vital sector”

Longford funeral

The funeral has taken place of two children who tragically died in a car fire in Co Westmeath last Friday.

Five-year-old Thelma Dennany and her two-year-old brother Mikey died after the car they were travelling in with their mother was set on fire in what gardaí now suspect was a deliberate act.

The two children were brought into St Mel’s Cathedral in Longford in a double coffin this morning, and Fr Sean Casey told mourners the siblings were inseparable.

"They were inseparable in life and in the words of their Dad Michael 'the only thing that separated them was school as they went their separate ways each morning'".

Match-fixing

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Three further people have been arrested in relation to alleged match-fixing in the League of Ireland.

The three males, all aged in their 30s, have been arrested on Thursday in suspicion of the offence of Conspiracy to Defraud contrary to Common Law.

Two of the men were arrested in Dublin, while the third was arrested in the eastern region of the country in planned operation by the Anti-Bribery and Corruption Unit, and the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) of An Garda Síochána.

All three are currently detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 in Garda stations in South Dublin and in the eastern region.

Theft and damage

Twenty-seven people are due before the Criminal Courts on Thursday in relation to businesses and retail outlets who were the victims of crime in Dublin.

The 22 males and five females will appear before the District Courts charged with 37 alleged offences arising from 29 incidents (15 in the Clontarf Sub District, 11 in the Raheny Sub District and 3 in the Howth Sub District) of theft, criminal damage and burglary affecting the business sector.

The ongoing initiative was conducted by several Dublin Garda stations including Clontarf, Howth and Raheny stations, led by Gardaí from Raheny.

Covid boosters

Infectious diseases expert Professor Sam McConkey has urged people to continue to get their booster Covid-19 vaccine and also to get the flu vaccine this winter despite comments from the World Health Organisation that “the end is in sight”.

On Wednesday WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic. We are not there yet, but the end is in sight.”

Prof. McConkey told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that the most recent variants of Covid-19 – Omicron BA4 and BA5 had not been as severe and while people were still becoming ill, the majority were not experiencing severe respiratory illness.

Penneys store

The long-awaited Penneys store at the Square Shopping Centre in Tallaght has officially opened, creating 300 new jobs.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin was on hand to help open the new store which cost close to €10 million to build.

The new store is part of Primark’s commitment to invest €250 million in Ireland over the next 10 years.

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